Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), causes serious respiratory illness manifesting as pneumonia, adult respiratory distress syndrome and respiratory failure. Amidst the rising number of cases and deaths, it is imperative to not forget Tuberculosis (TB) which is another pandemic existing since centuries. There could be dire consequences for tuberculosis patients globally especially in low and middle income countries with a high burden of disease and overwhelmed health care systems. Tuberculosis is still the leading infectious killer worldwide, and therefore, it is crucial to reflect on the interaction between the two diseases. Evidence suggests that both COVID-19 and tuberculosis have a synergistic relationship, boosting detrimental effect of each other, disrupting existing health care models, and also worsening the clinical outcomes in terms of morbidity and mortality. This review aims to draw attention towards this pertinent clinical issue, and tries to unravel the intricate relationship between COVID-19 and tuberculosis, as also the role of BCG vaccination to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
© Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2011.